Kansas Criminal Defense

Experience, Dedication and Leadership.

If you or someone you know has become involved in the criminal process, the knowledge and practical experience of your criminal defense lawyer is paramount to securing the best possible outcome.

Our Olathe criminal defense lawyers provide skilled criminal defense aimed at protecting your rights and future. From Schlagel Long Rivera, LLC, we serve clients throughout the entire state of Kansas.

Facing criminal charges is a serious situation for anyone. Whether a person is being accused of a felony or a misdemeanor, the penalties that result from a criminal trial often impact the rest of your life.

Jail time, fines, and a damaged reputation are the repercussions criminal defense attorney Vinnie Rivera fights to prevent you from unfairly facing.

What To Ask When Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney.

How Much Do You Charge?

I can't tell you how many times I've answered the phone, and the first words out of someone's mouth are: "How much would you charge me to do this?"

I always say the same thing to them: you're asking the wrong question. You need to be asking me what I can do for you.

Don't assume that just because someone has

  • a law degree, they know what they are doing.
  • a law degree, they have the experience needed for your case.
  • been doing this for years, they know what they are doing.

You Need to Be Interviewing the Attorney about Your Case.

You need to ask:

  • How they're going to handle your case.
  • How they're going to defend you.
  • Ask them what issues they are going to look into.
  • What motions they're going to file in your case.

When You're Asking an Attorney about Their Experience, Ask Them:

  • Have you ever handled a case like this before?
  • How many cases like this have you handled?
  • Have you ever taken something like this to trial?
  • What's your trial experience?
  • How many jury trials have you had?
  • How often do you go to trial?
  • What's the longest trial you've ever been in?
  • What's the most major trial you've ever been in?

I would recommend that you talk with several attorneys before you hire someone to defend you.

When you choose the attorney that's right for you, you need to do it based on their experience and how well they're going to be able to handle your case and meet your needs.

Criminal Defense Video Series

What is a Trial Lawyer?

Many People Are Afraid To Go to Trial and Will Take a Plea.

These same people do not deserve the charges they receive and most will plead guilty out of fear. This is what the prosecutor wants but is completely unfair to the person who has to carry the burden of this charge for the rest of their lives.

Many plea bargains are terrible and unfair that prey on people who simply do not know any better than what they have gotten themselves into. This is why you need an aggressive trial lawyer on your side.

Experience, Dedication and Leadership are what make a great trial attorney, and what separates Schlagel Long Rivera LLC from other attorneys.


Schlagel Long Rivera LLC has experience in State and Federal courts. We’ve handled jury trials from:

  • battery,
  • DUIs,
  • drug distribution,
  • drug possession,
  • felony murder,
  • rape,
  • and sex crimes.

Chances are, no matter what you’re charged with, we’ve been there.


As a trial attorney, you can’t rely on your experience alone. How many professional fighters just show up to a fight without training? It’s important to be dedicated to quality training from experts in the field, and learning the best techniques.


To strengthen our civil rights it’s, important to share your experience and training with other attorneys. Those attorneys can go on to protect their clients rights, and in the end everyone’s rights are protected.

What Does a Trial Lawyer Do?

You will meet with our firm to go over the case discussing your options and strategy that is going to be taken once at trial. We will examine all possible evidence, research past judicial decisions and interview witnesses connected to your case. We will then:

  • present an opening argument,
  • present evidence,
  • address the judge and interview and cross examine witnesses.

At the end of the case we will present a compelling closing argument.

Notable Success as a Trial Lawyer

Schlagel Long Rivera LLC has experience in State and Federal courts. We’ve handled jury trials from battery, DUIs, and drug possession up to rape, sex crimes, drug distribution, and felony murder. Chances are, no matter what you’re charged with, we’ve been there.
Client Results

Do I Have a Defense?

You can break your defenses down into two categories: legal defenses and factual defenses.

Factual Defense

is something like "I didn't do it - some other guy did it."

Legal Defense

is based on legal grounds. You're saying that either the police or maybe the prosecutors violated your rights, or are violating your rights in this prosecution.

A common example would be an illegal search: if you were searched without probable cause.

Also, if police obtained a statement from you that was under duress or was coerced.

There can also be legal defenses about how you're charged, double jeopardy, and unconstitutional statutes.

The attorney would file a motion to suppress, arguing that that evidence should not be used against you because it was obtained in violation of your rights.

All legal defenses are going to be addressed by the judge before we get to trial.


is kind of a hybrid between a factual and a legal defense.

  • Under the law, you are entitled to use force to defend yourself.
  • Under the law, you are entitled to use force to defend another person.
  • Under the law, you are entitled to use force to defend your property.

But no matter which one of these scenarios your case is,

the question is whether the force you used was reasonable.

I’ll give you an example. If I'm walking down the street, and someone snatches my cell phone, I can't take out a gun and shoot them. If I'm walking down the street, and somebody pulls a gun on me to try to rob me - I'm probably okay to break their arm, probably okay to pull a gun back on them.

When you raise a self-defense claim, you are giving something up, because you are admitting guilt.

You're essentially saying: “I am guilty of the battery, but it was justified because it was self-defense.”

By admitting to it, now the burden of proof shifts onto us. By shifting the burden of proof, we have to prove two main things:

  1. that you reasonably believed that that person was going to hurt you, hurt someone else, or interfere with your property.
  2. that the amount of force that you used against that person was reasonable.

when you hire an attorney, it's important that your attorney discusses with you all of your defenses: what legal defenses you have, and what factual defenses you have.

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